Warriors coach Steve Kerr and Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll had actor/comedian Bill Murray as the guest on their "Flying Coach" podcast this week.
Super quick tangent -- if you read that sentence three months ago, you would have thought you were living in an alternate universe, right? OK. End of tangent.
So about midway through the conversation, the following exchange took place:
Kerr: "Russell Westbrook has one of my favorite quotes ever. He said: 'I have been blessed with the gift of not giving a f--k.'"
Murray: "That's not his line. I don't think he made that one up."
Kerr: "(Laughing) Maybe he didn't, but he used it. There's something about that that's true. It doesn't work if you literally don't care. But if you can play as if you're just free and loose -- and you're having fun -- that's what we're all looking for."
When did the 2016-17 NBA MVP say this?
It was Feb. 13, 2019 when Westbrook still was playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
"I've been blessed with the talent not to give a f--k," he told reporters just before the All-Star break.
Today was probably the longest and most candidly Russell Westbrook has spoken this season.— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) February 13, 2019
On the conversation/criticism about his game, he says he’s been disengaged from that since he started playing basketball.
How? “I’ve been blessed with the talent to not give a f***.” pic.twitter.com/wdBDdPTNzx
So somebody needs to tell Kerr to substitute the word "talent" for "gift" when he's citing the quote. But that's really not important.
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What is more interesting in this context is actually analyzing Westbrook's comment when applying it to the court. He is an incredibly gifted player and a lot of the basketball world praises him for the energy and effort he brings on a nightly basis. Nobody questions his passion.
But within that, he built somewhat of a reputation for not adjusting his game -- or sacrificing certain things -- in order to provide what is needed for his team to win when it matters most.
So Westbrook bricks a horrible horrible shot and then Lillard wins it at the buzzer. Unreal pic.twitter.com/1xmKYv0sgX— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) April 24, 2019
I'm old enough to remember when Carmelo Anthony said that Russell Westbrook absolutely "steals rebounds." (Carmelo said this yesterday) https://t.co/ntsPAvAFVu— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) April 11, 2018
Westbrook is 3-for-17 in the 4th quarter, and people are going to look at his final stats and think he was absolutely incredible. Sad!— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) April 20, 2017
And the perception -- fair or not -- is that he doesn't "give a f--k" about adapting or evolving, and he's going to do what he wants.
Westbrook still has time to change the narrative. And hopefully the current NBA season resumes this summer so he gets that opportunity.